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Chefs Get Personal

23 Nov 2021

an interview with Adam Byatt

Chef Name: Adam Byatt

Age: 47

Title: Chef/Patron

Awards: 1 Michelin Star

How old were you when you started cooking professionally? 

I started cooking at Claridge’s Hotel as an apprentice on my 16th birthday.

What’s your earliest and fondest first memory of food? 

On a school French-exchange trip, I stayed on a farm in Lyon – my memory of this is all related to food and in particular eating artichokes with vinaigrette. The beginning of my journey.

Which chefs inspire you most and why? 

I haven’t worked for anyone for over 20 years and while I have a huge amount of admiration for any chef-owner that manages to deliver at the top of their game, I don’t take inspiration that way. I am though, deeply inspired by the senior team I work with and how they operate daily and navigate the issues we have all faced over the past couple of years (Covid).

What are your two favourite cookbooks and why? 

Darina Allen’s Forgotten Skills of Cooking, and White Heat by Marco Pierre White as it was the first cookbook I ever owned.

Which two ingredients could you not live without?

Salt and olive oil.

What is your favourite comfort food to cook at home?

Roast chicken with pilaf rice.

If you could eat at any Michelin star restaurant in the world today, where would it be and why? 

L’Arpege or Frantzen.

And who would you take as your guest?

My wife Vicki.

What do you look for in a good chef?

A love of food, good manners, humility and a hunger for learning.

What advice would you give to chefs starting their career paths now? 

Cooking is THE most rewarding industry.

Each day is surprisingly different, you never stop learning and the rewards for your hard work can be unimaginable, but there are no shortcuts. You will not find a long-term successful chef who has not at some stage put the time in and made hard choices. Cheat the system and pay the price. Hospitality will give you back whatever you put in.

How has the pandemic affected your restaurant? And how did you adapt and evolve throughout?

I believe the pandemic has changed Trinity for the better. We now have less covers, therefore a slightly smaller, more dialled-in and busier restaurant that is far more refined and running at a level I have always dreamed it one day would.

We made some hard decisions throughout the pandemic that we may never have made otherwise, and through that adversity has come some real clarity for us as a team.

Can you share any wisdom from the experience so far with others? Have you changed? Has your cooking changed?

Yes lots has changed for many of us. For me personally I took control of my own mental and physical wellbeing for the first time ever and feel far better for it. As chefs we never find the time to deal with the big stuff: the work-life balance, the switch-off button, our physical health – so that time was a blessing for me, and I used it well.

I believe our cooking at Trinity is now the most confident it has ever been, the most succinct, guest focused and yet restrained – I am very proud of what my team and I do each day and that is reflected in our guest experience. 

Chef Adam Byatt is Chef/Patron at Trinity Restaurant

Website: www.trinityrestaurant.co.uk

Address: 4 The Polygon Clapham, London

Telephone: +44 (0) 207 6221199

Instagram: @adambyatt & @trinityclapham

Twitter: @Adambyatt

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